May/June 2021 Newsletter
NARCAN Update: HHC Steps Up in a Huge Way for Our Community!
Although the Opioid epedimic remains a challenging issue during the pandemic--your Health and Hope Clinic continues to serve the community as the ONLY clinic within 3 counties that offers free NARCAN to citizens to help save lives locally! In Escambia County, overdoses are up nearly 60% year over year. Escambia Public Safety Director Eric Gilmore recently reported that local EMS units used more than 300 doses of Narcan in just the first 3 months of 2021 to help prevent overdoses! NARCAN refers to the drug Naloxone.This drug can quickly and safely revive a patient who is suffering from an opioid overdose. It is a nasal spray that anyone can administer to someone who is overdosing. To date, your clinic has distributed more than 1000 doses of NARCAN to community members and we have heard feedback from the community that our NARCAN doses have been used nearly four dozen times to revive persons who were overdosing locally. WEAR Channel Three News spotlighted your clinic's distribution of NARCAN on June 15th with a follow up the next day on the 16th. You can help save a life too-get your FREE NARCAN from the clinic today! More information here.
Volunteer Spotlight for June 2021:
Trish Boutwell

What does the Health & Hope Clinic mean to you?
To me, the Clinic means just what its mission statement says, “providing health and hope to the hurting”; that is, medical care for those without the benefit of health insurance and sharing the hope that is ours through the saving grace of our Lord Jesus!

Why did you choose to serve at the Health & Hope Clinic?
After volunteering in several different arenas, I knew I needed to be in a role that allowed me the freedom to tell others about the love of Christ without the shackles of political correctness.

How did you start volunteering at the clinic?
A friend of mine who had been volunteering at the Clinic for many years suggested I consider the Clinic, but I thought, if it means working in the medical arena I wasn’t interested since I had retired from the medical/health field and wanted something different. Now I am convinced that God gives everyone specific talents and in doing so, He is glorified when those talents are put into service to others.
 
What department do you work in at the clinic, and what makes your work meaningful to you?
I’ve been in the Intake Department since day one. Intake considers new patient requests and determines whether eligibility criteria are met prior to the enrollment of the patient. What makes this work meaningful to me is the face-to-face contact I have with people from all walks of life, often hearing of their personal struggles and being able to offer them the physical care and the spiritual care that they are searching for. 
 
What skills have you learned from working with the clinic?
I’ve learned how to hunt down medical charts (ha-ha)!
 
Do you have any other community involvement? If so, what are they?
I currently mentor a middle-school student and help out in a variety of ways at First Baptist Church Cantonment.
 
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
 I enjoy Bible study, being on the water (preferably saltwater), and watching old black and white movies!
 
What is your favorite part about the clinic?
Working together with fellow believers for the same outcome is just a joy to me! And I love the idea of the Clinic’s partnership with the local universities offering internships to a host of different students!
West Florida Hospital CEO Gay Nord and State Representative Michelle Salzman Tour the Health and Hope Clinic!
Patient Stories: Bringing HOPE to the Health and Hope Clinic!
Debbie Booker is an amazing volunteer encourager at the clinic and shared these (2) patient's stories with us to assure our volunteers that every time you volunteer, you are making a difference in someone’s life. You may not always hear about it, but you just may be saving someone’s emotional life that day. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve others and to make them feel worthy and loved. This is the “HOPE” part of the clinic! 

"One of our patients last week came an hour early for his appointment. He was very emotional as he had just buried his only child, a son 3 weeks earlier,who had died from an auto accident. He now had his son’s 5 year old twin girls in the car and asked if he could be seen earlier then his scheduled appointment time. I could see that there were two appointments ahead of his, but I went back and asked Kelly, our volunteer lead nurse anyways. I explained the situation and she did not hesitate to get this patient in early. I can not tell you how grateful he was, he just kept saying “we rocked”!. When he came out from being seen by our volunteer provider, he had to wait on his meds to be filled. This allowed me as an encourager to be able to spend some time with him and pray with him. He just kept crying and saying what a wonderful refuge this clinic was for him and he was so grateful. I told him God knew his needs and made a clear path for him."

"As I was walking out of the prayer room, I saw one of our UWF Social Work interns, Ashleigh handing a patient some bottles of water and a water thermos. I walked over to see if I could help and this patient was crying and needing prayer, so we went back to the prayer room for privacy. She was homeless, had just lost her father very suddenly and they were burying him that afternoon at Barrancas. I asked her where she slept and she mentioned in the back of the dumpsters at churches and businesses. She told me she had slept in back of a church downtown and wanted to attend church that next morning. She said her feet had been bleeding and she was wearing flip flops and would just slip in the back. A man, whether he was just a parishioner or an usher, stopped her from coming in. She put her hand up to demonstrate that “he banished me from church”. She was sobbing the entire time. We prayed and talked for about 30 minutes, she settled down and then said,”From the moment I entered the lobby and through everyone’s kindness, I knew I would never feel banished here. I feel safe and accepted”. 
Jeffrey Lewis Discusses his thoughts on the recent HHC Pfizer and Merck Audits--and why he enjoys serving at Health and Hope Clinic

I started volunteering at the clinic back in November of 2020 after a friend recommended it to me as a great place to get involved and help out. I felt like it would be a great way to give back to the community. I originally started in the pharmacy, and then switched to the nursing station in April to work as a medical assistant. I continued to work in the pharmacy, as well as help out with the pharmaceutical manufacturer audits whenever we did not have patients or when my schedule would allow for it. Some of the skills that I have learned and improved while at the clinic are teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. One of my favorite memories was completing the Pfizer pharmaceutical audit. We successfully cleared the audit on June 10th, once the Pfizer team told us that they had no findings and that we had done a great job. Myself and the rest of the team felt so accomplished after the many months of hard work. I would have to say that my favorite part of volunteering at the clinic is getting to work with some of the friendliest, most compassionate, and extremely dedicated people I have ever met. And many, if not all of them, have become some of the best friends that I could ever ask for!
Executive Director's Message
We are excited to report that throughout the pandemic our team has seen a HUGE influx of new patients, more volunteers, and consequently an increase in hours of operation at Health and Hope Clinic. Volunteer hours are 52% higher than 2020, and 60% higher than 2019. We enrolled 69 new patients in May of 2021 compared to 26 in May of 2020. Additionally, we completed 930 patient visits in May versus 538 in May last year. A huge thank you to all of our volunteers, community supporters and partners, and healthcare professionals for making this happen!